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Morning Sun
  • Via Christi in Pittsburg to cut costs through layoffs, other measures

  • National trends in health care show a decline in revenue that is correlated with a decline in patient volume, and the Via Christi Health network, which includes Pittsburg's hospital, announced today that staff reductions will be part of the plan to address budget shortfalls.

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    National trends in health care show a decline in revenue that is correlated with a decline in patient volume, and the Via Christi Health network, which includes Pittsburg's hospital, announced today that staff reductions will be part of the plan to address budget shortfalls.

    Via Christi Health announced earlier this afternoon that it is reducing its Kansas work force by 350-400 positions, and senior leaders will be taking a salary reduction of about 4 percent.

    "With the fiscal year coming to a close at the end of June and looking at where the health system stood financially compared to where volumes were budgeted, there was a need to address the long-term mission of Via Christi, and unfortunately, tough decisions had to be made to sustain the mission," said Michael Hayslip, public relations director for Via Christi in Pittsburg.

    Hayslip said the local organization has not yet pinpointed an exact number of positions that will be cut, but he said there is a particular cost threshold that must be met.

    "We need a cost reduction of $3.5 million," Hayslip said. "That is based on what we look at in the health system in a fiscal year, and realizing that the decrease in volume we've experienced in the past three months, and the trend, is not reversing."

    Jeff Korsmo, president and CEO for Via Christi Health, echoed the sentiment in a press release sent out in response to the layoffs.

    According to the press release, the health care system has seen three consecutive months of volume shortfalls and is taking action in order to achieve a 1.5 percent operating margin budgeted for 2014.

    “These declines have been taking place over several years but they have accelerated at Via Christi 

    since the snow storms in February and have not bounced back,” Korsmo said.

    This is a breaking news story and will be updated as information becomes available.
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